Carbon County Commissioners
Democrats William O'Gurek and Charles Getz
No upsets occurred yesterday in the balloting for Carbon County Commissioner.
The three incumbents coasted to victory.
Democratic incumbents Charles Getz and William O'Gurek, who ran as a team, bested James Holland, Franklin Ruch and Gerald Strubinger.
On the Republican side, minority commissioner Wayne Nothstein is joined by Tom Gerhard on the November ballot. Gerhard and Nothstein ran together. They easily outpolled challengers Gene Duffy and Robert Dages.
Voters will select three commissioners in the November election.
The unofficial election results for county commissioner, with the winners having asterisks, are:
• * Wayne Nothstein - 3,311.
• * Tom Gerhard - 2,672.
• Gene Duffy - 882.
• Robert Dages - 597.
• * Charles Getz - 3,794.
• * William O'Gurek - 3,633.
• Gerald Strubinger - 1,308.
• James Holland - 1,075.
• Franklin Ruch - 1,042.
Getz, of Kidder Township, immediately issued a proposal to engage in debates over the summer with the GOP opponents.
"I would like to have about five debates this summer with the Republican candidates," he said. "After the debates, let the people decide."
Both Getz and O'Gurek were understandably happy with the election results.
"Billy and I worked pretty hard," Getz remarked. He said he feels the accomplishments that have been achieved by the commissioners specifically, avoiding tax increases and eliminating the occupation tax in the county were reasons for the 3-1 margin over their opponents.
He offered personal congratulations to Nothstein and Gerhard.
If successful in November, Getz will begin his 17th year as a commissioner.
O'Gurek, of Summit Hill, has been the chairman of the board of commissioners for the past seven years.
"Obviously Charlie and I are very pleased with the results," he said. "The first thing is we want to thank our family and supporters who have worked so hard in this election."
O'Gurek continued, "We hope that the numbers are an indication that the voters are content with the job we've been doing. This administration has always worked to create jobs; namely, the Packerton Project. We look to campaign on our promise to continue doing that."
He also pointed out that property taxes have not been raised under his leadership. Also, he reiterated that the occupation tax was removed.
Nothstein and Gerhard both were appreciative of the voter support they received.
Nothstein, a resident of Lehighton, said the outcome of the Primary balloting was not a major surprise.
"The campaign really starts now. We're hoping to run a clean campaign," he said.
He said he and Gerhard "worked hard at the campaign. We've been working on this for over a year. Both of us have been active in the county. Both of us have lived in the county most of our lives."
Gerhard, of Packer Township, the son of former Carbon County Commissioner Thomas Gerhard, is making his first run for a county seat.
"I'm very happy," he said of yesterday's results. "Obviously, in this whole campaign, I went in as the underdog."
He continued, "I'm just happy to finish in fourth place. We won the GOP nomination and that was our goal."
He added, "We thank all the people who supported us."
Dages, of Jim Thorpe, offered his personal congratulations to the election winners.
"I'm very pleased for the people who did win," he said.
He and Duffy had campaigned as a team, stressing the importance of the Constitution.
"I'm very disappointed that constitutional issues are not on the forefront of the winners," he remarked.